The Best Carpet Cleaners

By Amanda Lasater

We have all spent hours scrubbing those unsightly and frustrating stains on our carpets, just to end up having to hide them with a rug or piece of furniture. For this reason, many people are under the impression that you need to hire professional carpet cleaners to get a carpet cleaning that removes all the years of built up spills and stains; however, this really isn’t the case. While professional carpet cleaning companies do a great job, they can be extremely costly when you need regular, or even occasional, cleanings. 

Thanks to at-home carpet cleaning machines, you can get a professional-quality cleaning without having to spend a great deal of money or have strange people coming in and out of your house. To help you find a powerful carpet cleaner that will remove the toughest stains, we’ve compiled a list of the best carpet cleaners available today.

The 4 Best Carpet Cleaners

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Red Hoover carpet cleaner machine

Best Upright Cleaner

Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine

While the Hoover name is synonymous with vacuum cleaners, the company also specializes in carpet cleaners. The Power Scrub Deluxe was designed to extend the life of your carpet and provide you with a powerful and efficient cleaning. Their patented 360-degree brushes scrub at all angles to deeply clean a surface. The DualV Nozzle provides equal suction to quickly clean surfaces evenly and then separates the clean and dirty water into two different tanks. The dirty water tank holds up to one gallon of water and is easy to remove. The cleaner uses a stream of hot air to rapidly dry the freshly cleaned carpet, overall resulting in a deep clean that dries fast.

The cleaner comes with a stair tool and crevice tool to clean hard to reach areas, as well as an upholstery tool attachment for use on other surfaces. Plus, the long, 20-foot cord allows you to go from room to room without having to worry about constantly unplugging the cleaner. 

Bissell carpet cleaner machine with cord

Best Portable

Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner

Bissell is another well-known and trusted name in carpet cleaning – and for good reason. The Bissell SpotClean Portable Carpet Cleaner is the company’s most powerful spot cleaner, making it perfect for those occasional spills and messes. The compact cleaner uses a powerful suction combined with a special cleaning solution and a scrubbing action to eliminate tough stains and stubborn dirt from your home or car – especially in those areas that a full-size carpet cleaner cannot access.

The large-capacity tank holds an impressive ¾ gallon of cleaning solution, so you can clean large areas without having to worry about constant refills. The portable carpet cleaner also comes with a 5-foot hose and a 22-foot power cord, allowing you to use the device as a powerful stain remover on car interiors, stairs, rugs, and upholstery, as well as on your carpet. As for attachments, the SpotClean Professional comes with a 3-inch tool designed for the toughest of stains and a 6-inch stair tool. 

Bissell teal carpet cleaner and pet stain eraser

Best Budget

BISSELL Pet Stain Eraser Deluxe ION Portable Carpet Cleaner

Bissell set out to provide us with the ultimate in grab-and-go cordless cleaning with their Pet Stain Eraser Deluxe. And, not only have they accomplished it, they have challenged all the tough spots, stains, and odors left behind by our furry friends! This highly portable and affordable cleaner can take on pet stains and odors anywhere and anytime with its built-in brush and heavy duty suction. Simply spray the cleaning solution on the stain, scrub with the built-in brush, and suction the mess into the dirty water tank – and, voila, you won’t have to worry about those deep stains and odors again.

This carpet cleaner features a lithium-powered battery so you won’t have to worry about those annoying cords preventing you from going room to room, or even out to your car, to spot clean. Plus, the deluxe ion model includes an extra 30-minute run time, so you can keep on cleaning without having to charge. 

Red Rug Doctor machine

Best Professional

Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Vacuum

When it comes to Rug Doctor, the name really says it all! This company has developed itself into a leading brand in both professional and at-home carpet cleaning by prioritizing the health and longevity of your carpet. Rug Doctor strives to provide you with a professional-level machine without costing you a fortune.

While their portable spot cleaner may be small, it packs a serious punch. It features a ½ gallon cleaning tank and a ½ gallon collecting tank, perfect for the occasional or even regular, spot cleaning. It is designed with two wheels, making it a breeze to glide across the carpet. The cleaning hose is 5-feet long and has an angled head allowing you to get into corners and hard to reach spots. Because this device combines rotating bristles and a heavy-duty suction, old pet stains, wine, coffee, food, and oils stand no chance. The device does not use damaging steam or heat and the strength of the suction fully extracts stains and shortens drying time. 

What to Look for in a Carpet Cleaner

When shopping for a carpet cleaner, you want to consider the following:

  • Do I need a spot cleaner or a whole carpet cleaner? If you have a very busy home, you will probably want a whole cleaner. But, if you have a less trafficked or small home, you should be fine with a spot cleaner.
  • How big of a tank do I want? The larger the tank, the less attention you will need to pay to emptying the tanks, but it will make the cleaner heavier and harder to move around.
  • Do I have pets? If so, make sure you get a cleaner that is designed to deal with pet hair – otherwise, the hair could clog the machine.


How often should I clean my carpets?

This depends entirely on the action that your carpets see but, in general, we would recommend spot cleaning when you see a stain and then doing a deeper clean once every six months.

How should I clean my carpet cleaner?

It is wise to do detailed maintenance on your cleaner every so often, especially if it is used on upholstery. Read the manual to determine how to open your cleaner and then just use warm water and soap. 

Do I always need to use a cleaning agent?

Not necessarily, but it depends on the situation. If you do not want to use chemicals, then try to use just water on the stain and see if it works. If you end up going with cleaning agents, make sure you do a spot test first on a hidden part of the upholstery. 

Which types of chemicals are best to use on my carpets?

We recommend that you make sure to use only non-toxic and eco-friendly chemicals. More than likely, you will have kids or pets on your carpets or upholstery, so you want to make sure you don’t use any chemicals that can be harmful.


At-home carpet cleaners give us an affordable and easy way to get a professional-looking carpet cleaning whenever we want. Use this list of the best carpet cleaners to help you pick out the perfect cleaner for your needs. It’s time to get to cleaning!

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